Trump Regime Wants South Korea to Pay for US Occupation

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Trump Regime Wants South Korea to Pay for US Occupation

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Pentagon forces occupy scores of nations worldwide, its empire of bases used as platforms for control, warmaking, and other hostile actions.

They’re unrelated to protecting the national security of host countries. They’re all about advancing Washington’s imperial agenda — its aim for dominion over planet earth, its resources and populations.

The late Chalmers Johnson explained the fallout host nations endure by permitting US forces to occupy their territory.

It includes unacceptable noise, pollution, environmental destruction, and expropriation of valuable public and private land. 

It comes with drunken, disorderly, and abusive military personnel, committing crimes that include rape and murder most often not punished under provisions of US-imposed Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs).

Johnson explained that long ago imperialism was all about colonizing nations for absolute control.

“America’s version (are globally positioned) military base(s).” They assure Washington’s “imperial footprint and the militarism that grows with it…even more than in past empires,” he explained, adding:

“Well-entrenched militarism (lies) at the heart of our imperial adventures…Each year (the US) spend(s) more on our armed forces than all other nations on earth combined.”

Bases reflect “force projection.” Even when facing the scourge of Nazism during WW II, Brits complained that GIs were “overpaid, overfed, oversexed, and over here,” calling their presence US occupation.

Countless millions of people globally endure its modern-day scourge. Washington’s military footprint is intrusive and hostile. It comes at the expense of world peace, stability and security.

Common myths abound about the presence of US forces. They’re not requested by host countries.

They don’t protect or otherwise benefit them or their people. They’re part of the US war OF terror, not on it — what the late Gore Vidal called “perpetual war for perpetual peace,” the latter notion deplored by bipartisan US policymakers.

Nearly 75 years after WW II ended, US forces still occupy Germany, Japan, Italy, South Korea, and scores of other countries worldwide.

Status of forces (SOFA) agreements establish the framework under which US forces operate abroad.

The US war department calls them agreements “that define the legal position of a ‘visiting’ military force deployed in the territory of a friendly state,” adding” 

They describe “the status of visiting military forces (that) may be bilateral or multilateral.” 

“Provisions pertaining to the status of visiting forces may be set forth in a separate agreement, or they may form a part of a more comprehensive agreement.” 

“These provisions describe how the authorities of a visiting force may control members of that force and the amenability of the force or its member to the local law or to the authority of local officials.” 

“To the extent that agreements delineate matters affecting the relations between a military force and civilian authorities and population, they may be considered as civil affairs agreements.”

Occupied countries have little say over Pentagon-drafted, largely one-way, provisions. 

Johnson said US military bases abroad operate like “microcolonies in that they are completely beyond the jurisdiction of the occupied nation.”

SOFAs are modern-day versions of 19th century China’s “extraterritoriality” agreements. They grant US personnel charged with crimes the “right” to be tried by his (or her) own government under his (or her) own national law.

They prevent host country courts from exercising jurisdiction over US military and related civilian personnel.

Even murder, rape, and other serious crimes by US personnel are exempt unless Washington yields to host country authorities.

Most US SOFAs are secret, their total number unknown. They “usurp, distort, or subvert whatever institutions of democratic (or other form of) government may exist with the host society,” Johnson explained.

Local populations have no say over how US forces operate in their countries. Their presence reflects indefinite occupation. Time and again, it becomes permanent.

According to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo broadsheet, the Trump regime demanded that Seoul pay the US $4.7 billion to continue permanent Pentagon occupation of the country.

About 25,000 US troops are based in the country, their presence unrelated to providing security because no foreign threats exist — not from North Korea, China or any other countries.

South Korea faced no security threats since imperial Japan was defeated in 1945.

Yet its ruling authorities permit US occupation, serving Washington’s imperial interests, not the host country or its people.

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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.